The Indian Misile Man Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

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Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam  (October 1931 – 27 July 2015) was an Indian scientist who served as the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007. He died on 27 July, 2015 due to heart attack. Kalam was born and raised in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu and studied physics and aerospace engineering. He spent the next four decades as a scientist and science administrator, mainly at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Reserch Organisation (ISRO) and was intimately involved in the India’s civilian space program and military missile development efforts .He thus came to be known as the Missile Man of India for his work on the development of ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology.

He also played a pivotal organizational, technical and political role in India’s Pokhran- II nuclear tests in 1998, the first since the original nuclear test by India in 1974.

In 2002, Kalam was elected the President of India in 2002 with the support of the both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the opposition Indian National Congress. After serving a term of 5 years, he returned to civilian life of education, writing, and public service. He has received several prestigious awards, including the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honor.

Early life and education

Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was born on 15 October 1931 in a Tamil Muslim family to Jainulabudeen, a boat owner and Ashiamma, a housewife, at Rameswaram, Ramanathapuram District, located in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

He came from a poor background and started working at an early age to supplement his

family’s income. After completing school, Kalam distributed newspapers to financially contribute to his father’s income. In his school years, he had average grades, but was described as a bright and hardworking student who had a strong desire to learn and spend hours on his studies, especially mathematics. He was just a simple man with a great fierceful heart in his childhood.

After completing his school education at the Ramanathapuram Schwrtz Matriculation School, Kalam went on to attend Saint Joseph’s College Tiruchirppalli, then affiliated with the University of Madras, from where he graduated in physics in 1954. Towards the end of the course, he was not enthusiastic about he subject and would later regret the four years he studied it. He then moved to Madras in 1955 to study aerospace engineering. While Kalam was working on a senior class project, the Dean was dissatisfied with the lack of progress and threatened revoking his scholarship unless the project was finished within the next three days. He worked tirelessly on his project and met the deadline, impressing the Dean who later said, “I [Dean] was putting you [Kalam] under stress and asking you to meet a difficult deadline”.He narrowly missed achieving his dream of becoming a fighter pilot, as he placed ninth in qualifiers, and only eight positions were available in the IAF .


Abdul Kalam passed away at Bethany Hospital, Shillong due to heart failure.

Here are a few great lines said by him:

“Don’t take rest after your first victory because if you fail in second, more lips are waiting to say that your first victory was just luck.”

“All Birds find shelter during a rain. But Eagle avoids rain by flying above the Clouds.”

“Failure will never overtake me if my definition to succeed is strong enough”

“Man needs difficulties in life because they are necessary to enjoy the success.”

“If you want to shine like a sun. First burn like a sun.” 

“It is very easy to defeat someone, but it is very hard to win someone”

“All of us do not have equal talent. But , all of us have an equal opportunity to develop our talents.”

” Be more dedicated to making solid achievements than in running after swift but synthetic happiness.” 

“Thinking should become your capital asset, no matter whatever ups and downs you come across in your life.”

” Without your involvement you can’t succeed. With your involvement you can’t fail. “



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